Crispy chicken strips or tenders. A crispy crunchy low carb coating for chicken, fish, Quorn, tofu, halloumi or vegetables without the carbs!
low carb chicken strips

Crispy coated chicken strips, nuggets or goujons, all the crunch without the carbs of a normal breadcrumb or batter!

If you’re wanting something like chicken strips but find the coating on chicken pushes your blood glucose levels over the edge, especially when eaten alongside some other carbs such as wedges or fries, then this recipe is definitely worth trying.

My boys absolutely LOVE these chicken strips and have no idea that they are not normal breaded strips! A real winner winner chicken dinner! They are made with ground almonds, but I promise that you cannot tell they are.

Unfortunately, this recipe simply does not work as well when substituting almonds with other low carb flours such as coconut flour and wheat flours are far too high in carbs to be used.

This coating can also be used on fish, Quorn, tofu and vegetables too, so please give them a try on any of your favourite foods that you like to add a crispy crumb to!

In this recipe, I use pickle juice (or brine) to marinate the chicken and to help it stay more succulent and tender, this is extremely beneficial when using breast meat which can easily dry out. This is a method used in America for chicken tenders. For my chicken strips, I use pickle juice from a jar of sliced gherkins (as shown in the images). The pickle juice adds a saltiness to the flavour of the chicken and so if you prefer not to use pickle juice, you can substitute this with buttermilk instead.

You will notice that the acid from the pickle juice will cause the chicken to whiten slightly, this is fine and to be expected.

If you are wanting a dairy free version for buttermilk, you can use almond milk with some lemon juice added to create a non-dairy buttermilk equivalent.

If using this recipe for coating fish, Tofu, Quorn, Halloumi, or vegetables there is no need to marinate before coating!

low carb chicken strips

Chicken Strips

Crispy chicken strips or tenders. A crispy crunchy low carb coating for chicken, fish, Quorn, tofu, halloumi or vegetables without the carbs!
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Meals
Cuisine: American, British
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, chicken tenders, coating, crumb, fakeaway, goujons
Free or Subscription Recipe: Free Recipe
Free from: coconut, dairy, gluten
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Jo Paterson


  • 300 grams skinless chicken breast fillets (or fish, Quorn, tofu, halloumi, or vegetables)
  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • ½ tsp garlic granules (optional)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 250 ml pickle juice (or buttermilk)
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil (preferably in a spray)


  • Cut the chicken into strips or nuggets/chunks to your liking. Place in a dish and cover with enough pickle juice or buttermilk so that they are completely submerged. Cover the dish and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can marinate for as long as you like – the longer they are left, the more tender the chicken will be (this can be done overnight if you wish)
    chicken strips in pickle juice
  • When you are ready to cook your chicken strips, if using the oven to cook, preheat the oven to 200°c fan
  • Start by preparing your coating by adding the ground almonds, garlic granules, salt and pepper to a bowl and mixing well to distribute the ingredients evenly throughout the crumbs
  • In a separate dish, whisk the egg. Using a fork or clean fingers, start by dipping a piece of chicken into the whisked egg, then hold up and drain slightly
  • Next drop the chicken into the crumb, cover in the crumb and then turn and repeat on the other side. Place the coated chicken onto a plate and repeat with each piece. The crumb will soak up some of the liquid and become slightly wetter looking
  • Then re-coat each chicken piece again in just the leftover crumb to ensure they are fully coated
  • If cooking in the oven, line a baking tray with parchment paper to help stop them from sticking, spray well with some olive oil and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes or until crisp, golden and the chicken is cooked all the way through. (They may need turning halfway through cooking).
    If cooking in an air fryer, line the basket with some baking parchment paper, add the chicken strips, spray well with olive oil and cook for 12 minutes, then check to see how they are doing. Mine took 15 minutes to fully cook at 200°c in my Ninja Foodi on air-fry
  • Because the coating is made from almonds, it means you can serve these with another type of carb, such as potato wedges, sweet potato fries, chips, or rice and salad or green vegetables of your liking. Here I served mine with no added sugar Heinz ketchup and pickles!


Nutritional info. provided here is just a guide and based on the pickle juice or buttermilk not being included as much of it is not actually eaten and is only used to marinate the meat


Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 17g | of which saturates: 2g | Fibre: 3g | of which sugars: 1g